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HomeNewsLocal NewsAsphalting of Old Road Rehab Project and Island Main Road Repairs Continue

Asphalting of Old Road Rehab Project and Island Main Road Repairs Continue


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Construction work on the road in the Old Road area is behind schedule with approximately a quarter of the roadway left to be asphalted on Tuesday, May 25.

The asphalting started on May 17 and was scheduled for completion by May 23.

It has its genesis in the damage to the area during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, according to reports.

The Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department George Gilbert explains:

The contract for the $31.8 million road rehabilitation project was signed in 2019 to main contractor Rock n Dirt and involved extending the new road out to sea, raising the level of the road about seas level, and more;

“The work at the Old Road Bay will include; shifting the road more seaward; raising the level of the road; putting pipes where the ghaut is so the water can still come from the ghaut go through those pipes and go out to the sea and also we actually raise the level of the road with aggregates, we then compact that and we pave that road with concrete. On the seaward side now we put rock revetment, rock armour in the sea. We put some 20-ton stones in the sea and we compact, come up with smaller stones … 10-ton rock we put [on those],” Gilbert explained.

The 10-ton rocks for the breakwater will span the entirety of the new road (¾ of a mile long) approximately half of which has already been sourced and the rest currently being mined.

Challenges and Concerns

Before the fixtures and fitting; lighting and guard rails are installed the sourcing and laying of the 10-ton rocks have to be completed.

“The Contractor is mining rocks right now. He said that he has about 80 percent of [what is] left to be done,” said Mr Gilbert.

However, there are some challenges in this regard.

The cutting of the rocks poses a problem because the contractor does not control how a large rock breaks, making it difficult to get exactly 10-ton rocks.

The other challenge- people.

In addressing complaints about not being able to see the ocean as it has been seen in past years Gilbert said “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

The height of the breakwater is to protect the new road from any potential or immediate water damage and thus reduce maintenance costs and increase the longevity of the road.

What happens to the old “Old Road” road?

Gilbert said the old road would be decommissioned from public travel. For the residents that live on the mountainside of the old road, ease of access will be made so they can access the new road.

When asked about a wall to block falling rock in earlier plans for the build-out of the road Mr Gilbert said that is no longer a part of the plans.

The Old road bay area has always been an area of concern due to the effects of storms and hurricanes. Apart from protecting the road for reasons stated before by Mr Gilbert, WINN asked about possible considerations for the extension of the breakwater through residential areas. Gilbert had this to say.

“Yes, that’s a consideration which we have looked at; we have had [discussions] with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in that regard… They have sent engineers and technocrats to look at our coast and what they have done [is] doing some studies, they did some designs for the most vulnerable areas. So I think they are looking at areas under Brimstone Hill, they are looking at Fortlands; those are the areas in which they are looking at currently.”

The Island Main Road

The work on the Island main road continues after the Water department’s work in repairing and replacing piping and the laying of fibre optic cable ducts from the Cable.

Gilbert explained some of the delays that affected the completion of the Island Main Road.

“What they have to work from is from Bloody Point right down to Godwin Ghut and then Sandy Point. That is the major work to be done… They had some delays for a number of reasons. One [COVID-19]… Now you get back on track, [there were] some delays from [the] Water Department. The Water Department was changing out valves, changing out a whole set of pipelines in Sandy Point… When the water Department completed the work now The Cable is now laying ducts for fibre optic cables in those areas … Water department is on one side [of the road]… The Cable [was] on the other side… All while the main contractor is waiting.”

The Cable is expected to finish laying its ducts by May 23 in Sandy Point.

WINN visited the Verchilds area on May 21 and saw the work being done on the mountainside of the island’s main road. The main contractor Surrey Paving has the mandate to repave the Island Main Road west from Bloody Point, in Challengers, through to Godwin Ghaut and then the entire main road in the Sandy Point area.

According to Gilbert the Island Main Road project has cost EC$101 million, inclusive of sidewalks and drains throughout the island, the main road, and the ghaut in Cayon and there is still more work to be done.

Asked about the expected date of completion of both capital projects, Mr Gilbert said he was unable to provide a date at this time.





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